It started as a rumor: the
is going to be demolished soon. For
those who aren’t from Elbi, it’s the Old
Rural Building , that haunted-looking
structure in front to St. Therese Chapel. Our batch spent the first three years
of our high school life wreaking havoc in this building, and just when we were
about to inherit the much-coveted lobby when we became Seniors (an age-old
Ruralite tradition), we were shipped off to some far-flung bukid then known as
The New site. Urgh. Math
So, just before Eli, one of our seaman friends and the self-appointed lider-lideran of our barkada even way back, goes off a-sailing, we decided to have a photo shoot in the old site. So after loading up with beer (for the guys), juice, dynamite (that uber-hot cheese-filled jalapeno treat), sisig and liempo at Eli’s new ihawan (Wheeler's Elbi Grill, De Castro Cmpd, Lopez Ave. Batong Malake, Los Banos, Laguna, plug plug!), we went to the Old Rural at 1 AM!
In the middle of mugging it for the camera at the lobby and debating how we can sneak inside the premises (the guys wanted pictures in
and the Ipil room, which is the first room to your left upon entering), the
guard approached us to tell us the rumor isn’t true. An Elbi landmark such as
the Old UPRHS building will NOT be torn down daw. Wooh. Great. But anyway, since we
were there, we had pics taken in front of the flagpole too. Tristan, another promotor
of this early-morning trip and my co-head in our the planned 15th year reunion, took some random pics of the 2nd-floor
rooms (which used to be Mancono, Molave and Mahogany) in hopes of finding
something supernatural turning up in the photos later on.
Me and Chrys at the flagpole we spent some time being tied onto and pelted with flour and soy sauce as part of a school fair's "revenge booth." Kami na ang suki.
We were known as the Millenium batch, the first batch to graduate from the new site (although thank God we had our ceremonies at the D.L. Umali Hall). During our move the summer of 1999, we had to "igib" flushing water from outside and bring it to the toilets each room had (parang grade school lang, wala pang common restrooms). There was mud mixed with decomposing leaves and animal poop everywhere.
The UPRHS New Site. Trust me, it didn't look this great back then. Wish I had a picture.
Our canteen was a makeshift mesa resembling a turo-turo and our lunchmates were flies the size of dragonflies. The MPG or gym was built in the middle of our year and as a going away present to the school, our guys' barkada made like construction men and built the volleyball court from scratch, their punishment for being caught with booze during the senior trip to Ilocos.We dreaded doing PT (Physical Training) during the Citizen Army Training drill days on Saturdays because the ground was rocky and sandy and filled with sharp, broken pieces of shell and bottles and of course, the obligatory cow dung.
We were denied of the upper lobby, especially since we bullied any lowerclassman who dared sat there. We flubbed leading the school song on one flag ceremony and had to endure a major lashing for not memorizing the song even the freshmen knew by heart.
We sent home a class of lowerclassmen when, in our exuberance at having the dreaded Physics exam cancelled, instead of shouting "Walang exam!" some genius shouted "Walang pasok"! and kids started getting out the school and boarding the shuttle jeeps home. We incurred the ire of the faculty countless times for our katigasan ng ulo, kaangasan and kayabangan.
We had a lot more and looking back at some of these mischief last night, we were amazed at our youthful naughtiness. I'm glad most of us (I can't say all eh haha!) outgrew these and became fine, upstanding (not to mention handsome and beautiful) citizens of the world. We became doctors, lawyers, teachers, businessmen, media people, graduate students, entrepreneurs, musicians, mothers, fathers, hardworking taxpayers, you name it. Our 10th year reunion was a blast and kudos to the organizers back then. I believe our yearbook was also finished without an official faculty in charge so my respect as well to the yearbook peeps.
UP Rural High School Batch 2000 during our 10th year reunion last December 10, 2010.
So I really hope we can make that 15th year thingie happen. Batch 2000, I know we're used to reaching for those blasted stars with hardship, but let's make this easy and fun as well, yes? Make those calls, connect, suggest, volunteer, plan and strategize with us. See ya'll soon! Visit our batch's Facebook group (UPRHS 2000) for updates or just plain old kamustahan and chikahan. :)